A construction worker was on foot, working on roadway maintenance in a zone closed off to traffic on eastbound SR-94 in San Diego's East County, when a driver crossed into the zone and hit him, killing him
Authorities are investigating after a California Department of Transportation employee working on freeway maintenance was struck and killed by a car overnight in Spring Valley.
The California Highway Patrol said the deadly crash happened at around 12:10 a.m. on eastbound State Route 94, east of Avocado Avenue – in an active construction zone.
CHP Officer Travis Garrow said the victim – identified by his employer, Granite Construction, as 41-year-old Emilio Zaragoza – was on foot, working in the No. 2 lane, which was closed off to traffic. Garrow said there was large equipment in the lane as crews conducted roadway maintenance.
CHP investigators said a 24-year-old woman from El Cajon was driving a Mitsubishi on eastbound SR-94, approaching the construction zone. The No. 1 lane was open for through traffic, with speed reduced to 45 mph due to construction.
For unknown reasons, Garrow said the woman’s car drifted to the right, into the No. 2 lane and into the construction zone. The driver hit the construction worker.
The man suffered major injuries and died at the scene, CHP officials confirmed.
Granite Construction said they were "deeply saddened to report" Zaragoza's death.
"Emilio was a skilled laborer on our Northern Los Angeles team. We will be conducting a thorough investigation to hopefully learn the events and conditions that led to this unfortunate accident. Our focus right now is on Emilio’s family, our employees and their families," Granite Construction said in a written statement to NBC 7.
The driver of the Mitsubishi stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers. The deadly crash remains under investigation but Garrow said, at this time, drugs or alcohol aren’t believed to have played a role.
SR-94 at Avocado Boulevard was closed off to traffic for about seven hours while investigators collected evidence and worked to clear the scene.